Teacher Emma Lauson
Emma Lauson is a Trinity International ESOL examiner, she has over 10 years’ teaching experience of all levels and nationalities and has taught and lived in the UK, Spain and Portugal.
In her free time she writes songs and plays them in gigs around the London area. When we have Music Week in our Junior Go Create! programme, she also performs and shares her experience as a singer-songwriter with our students.
Student W.J asked:
“I don’t know how to improve my pronunciation, I am not aware enough when I talk with accents. I tried to imitate the pronunciation from films and TV, but I don’t think I am catching the essence, that progress is really slow and I don’t think that works in my daily life dialogues, what shall I do?”
Here is Emma’s letter back:
Thanks for writing in!
It is great that you are listening to spoken English on TV and in films. This will help you to notice the different sounds in English, and get your ears used to hearing sounds that may not exist in your language.
To be able to produce these sounds well, however, you need to first know what the sounds that you are trying to pronounce are. This is important because there are 26 letters in the English alphabet but over 40 sounds! These sounds are called phonemes and are organised into the phonemic alphabet. If you learned these individual sounds (phonemes) then this would help a lot. You can do this by studying the phonemic alphabet.
Secondly, after you know the sounds (phonemes), you will need to get used to moving your mouth in new, English ways. Think about the position of your lips, tongue and teeth and where the sound comes out – is if from your nose or throat?
A fantastic online video resource to help you to learn the phonemic alphabet and to see close-ups of a native speaker producing the individual sounds (phonemes) for you to copy is provided by the BBC at www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/pron/sounds/
Also, good teachers, like we have at KKCL, do in-class pronunciation training so if you need more practice maybe you could come and study with us.